Institute of Theology

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Admission Requirements



Applicants to the MTh program must:


  1. Hold the Lebanese Baccalaureate Certificate, or its equivalent.
  2. Hold a Bachelor of Theology degree (BTh) from an Orthodox institution of higher education with a general average of 80/100, or its equivalent.
  3. Demonstrate an adequate knowledge of Arabic considered acceptable by the admission committee.*
  4. Demonstrate an adequate knowledge of English (600 on a paper-based TOEFL for non-native English speakers).*
  5. File a full application form and provide the following documents:

    a) A letter of recommendation issued by the respective canonical Ecclesiastical authority

    b)Two recommendation letters by faculty members, who taught the candidate*

    c)   A personal statement expressing their career goals and personal objectives in seeking the MTh

    d) Copies of acquired diplomas or degrees*

    e)3 passport photos

    f)  A photocopy of a valid ID.

  6. Show a good knowledge in at least one ancient language, which shall be defined by the admission committee based on their field of study and thesis project.*
  7. Be enrolled upon the recommendation of the IOT's Council, and might be requested to take undergraduate bridging courses for the holders of a Bachelor of Theology degree (BTh) from a non-Orthodox institution of higher education.



Remarks for graduate applicants:

  1.  Holders of an MDiv degree from an Orthodox institution of higher education are admitted in a shorter academic program.
  2. Holders of a Master degree in Theology from a non-Orthodox institution of higher education are admitted in a shorter academic program in addition to bridging courses in Eastern Christian Theology.





The IOT offers a two-year study program leading to the redaction of the graduation thesis in fulfillment of the Master of Theology Degree.

  1. To earn the MTh degree, a student must successfully complete the required 30 credits distributed as follows:
    • 3 Credits of Methodology of Research
    • 18 Credits of core courses in the main theological fields
    • 3 Credits of a tutorial in the field of concentration related to the student’s thesis.
    • 6 Credits in directed thesis preparation
  2. The academic year is spread over two semesters: Fall and Spring. Courses are offered in block seminars. Students are required to attend intensive program during the semester for a period of five days per month. During this period, accommodation is available at the Institute.
  3. The field of concentration shall be one of the following: New Testament, Old Testament, Church History, Dogmatics, Pastoral Theology, Patristics, and Canon Law.
  4. The following is the policy statement on academic progress in the IOT.

A.            Time Limit

           Full-time students should be able to complete all requirements for the degree in a maximum period of three years. Students should petition in writing to the IOT Council for any exceptions.

B.            Evaluation

Graduate students are evaluated at the end of each semester. Evaluation of academic progress is based on the average of the graduate courses taken during one semester.

C.            Passing-Grade

                The passing grade for each course is 75.

                The passing average at the end of each semester is 80.

D.            Evaluation of Academic Performance

D.1 Academic Probation

If a student’s average in one semester is less than 80, he/she is put on probation.

D.2 Removal of Probation

A student placed on probation will be given the opportunity to earn 80 or above in all courses by the end of the following semester.

D.3 Dropping from the program

A Student will be dropped from the program for any of the following reasons:

i. He achieves a semester average less than 75.

ii. He is on Probation and is not able to remove the probation by the end of the next semester.

E.             Appeal

            A graduate student may petition to the IOT Council concerning any exceptional case related to an academic regulation.



 1.      Description

An MTh thesis is the final project for the Master of Theology degree. As much as possible, it should be an original contribution that draws on the knowledge acquired through the program. The thesis work reveals the student’s abilities to perform research with adequate methodology, demonstrate his/her knowledge in the subject of the thesis, and that he/she is acquainted with the literature pertaining to the Thesis topic.

2.      The Thesis Proposal

During the first semester the enrolled student should have obtained the assent of a Professor, teaching at the Institute of Theology, to supervise his Thesis. It is mandatory that before the end of the second semester, the student submits to the coordinator of the MTh Program a thesis proposal signed by his advisor. The coordinator forwards the proposal to the Dean for final approval.

Students who fail to obtain an approval of their detailed thesis proposal at the end of their second semester will be placed on academic probation.

The Thesis proposal must include the following:

  1. Title
  2. Statement about the importance of the subject
  3. Statement about the purpose of the thesis
  4. Brief description of the scholarship on the topic
  5. Presentation of the followed methodology
  6. Detailed outline describing the content of each chapter of the thesis
  7. Tentative table of content
  8. Selected Bibliography.


3.       Supervision

  1. Appointment of Supervisor

    The Dean officially appoints the supervisor of the thesis.

    Supervisors’ Responsibilities

    The supervisor mentors the student’s research work and the writing of the thesis with a view to ensuring completion as required.


    The supervisor is expected to:

    i.      Prepare the thesis proposal with the student.

    ii.      Support the student in conducting his/her research.

    iii.      Provide supervision on a regular basis, read and discuss the student's work.

    iv.      Evaluate the progress of the student in his/her research project and report on this to the Dean in semiannual written evaluations. (fixed form)

  2. The Student's Responsibilities:
    1. The student must keep his supervisor informed about the progress of his/her research, by providing him with the following:
    • All the drafts of the gradual phases in writing the thesis.
    • All-important research results.
    • The process of the editing of the final text of the thesis.
  3. Semi-annual Evaluations

    Every six months, the supervisor provides the Dean with an evaluation of the student’s progress in his/her research. Based on the evaluation, the Dean decides whether the student’s academic progress and research is satisfactory or not.

    Students who present unsatisfactory performance will be placed on academic probation.

  4. A request for a change of supervisor may come from the student or from the supervisor. The Dean may also initiate the change of supervisor. The appointment of a new supervisor takes place in agreement with the abovementioned regulation.


4.       The Format of the MTh Thesis


A master's thesis consists of approximately 100 pages. Students must follow the MTh Guide and Style manual issued by the Issam Fares Library Learning Center.


5.       The Assessment Committee

a. Definition

The Assessment Committee is in charge of reading and examining the final text of the Thesis. Upon completion of the MTh Thesis, the student submits by hand to the coordinator of the MTh Program four copies of the manuscript, and applies in writing for the Thesis defense. His application needs the approval of the Dean, who appoints the assessment committee and the committee chairperson.


b. Composition

The Assessment Committee consists of 3 members: the supervisor, the first and the second readers, who are professors, associate professors, or assistant professors in related fields of specialization. The Thesis Supervisor may chair the Assessment Committee.


c. Tasks

The members of the Assessment Committee are expected to fulfill the following tasks:

i.      Attend the defense session personally and present their evaluation orally during the session.

ii.      Deliberate and agree on the final grade of the Thesis.

iii.      Participate in the writing of the Report on the defense.

The chairperson is responsible, for ensuring the defense procedures, about:

i.      Submitting the required number of copies to the Assessment Committee

ii.      Communicating the date of defense

iii.      Coordinating the session

iv.      Submitting all needed reports and documents.


6.       Defense

The student must defend his MTh Thesis before the Assessment Committee. The defense session is open to the public, and it respects the following rules:

i.      The date for the defense session is set by the Dean.

ii.      A secretary of the committee writes down the session report.

iii.      The final session report is signed by all members of the Assessment Committee.

iv.      The Grading system is as follows:



75– 79


80 – 84


85 – 89

Very Good

90 – 94



High Disctinction

 7.       Award of the MTh Degree

The MTh degree is awarded to students who have completed the required coursework, defended the MTh Thesis, and submitted the required copy forms (see the MTh Guide and Style Manual) by hand to the Library after making the requested amendments. The corrected text of the thesis shall be submitted within four months after undergoing the oral examination.

Students are eligible to receive the MTh degree when they offer by hand to the Dean’s office the following documents:

  1. A copy of the Thesis after the final amendments, signed by the three members of the Assessment Committee
  2. A Library receipt of the Thesis.
  3. The Clearance Form for graduation.

After reviewing the above-mentioned documents, the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology grants the academic degree of MTh to the student.

Contact us
Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
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